The government has been urged not to leave behind disabled people when it begins rolling out the Pfizer COVID vaccine this month.
The statement by the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) comes after the government announced that the first COVID vaccine would begin roll-out in the UK next week.
Speaking yesterday, Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of VODG, said: “We welcome news about improved access to care home visiting, and today’s announcement about the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine but remain seriously concerned that disabled people, and the services that support them, are continuing to be left behind.”
Dr Hughes said the government’s ‘care home first’ policy throughout the programme had meant people living in their own homes and other care settings such as supported living had been left behind.
The VODG chief said he was concerned about the “relative priority” afforded disabled people in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommendations for priority vaccination.
Care homes for older adults and their carers are the first priority group identified by the JCVI.
People aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious diseases and mortality are listed sixth in the priority groups.